The Philadelphia Eagles are now free to hire Ed Donatell or Ted Monachino as defensive coordinator with the Super Bowl over. If the Eagles want to pick the candidate with the strongest and longest resume, Donatell may be the favorite. Yet he didn’t make the best final case for himself in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, which might have still been his last game as the San Francisco 49ers’ secondary coach.
The secondary was a big problem for the 49ers, as it was thoroughly outfoxed by Joe Flacco and his Baltimore Ravens’ receivers. They helped the Ravens jump to a 28-6 lead, which they really needed to hold off a 49ers rally after the power went out early in the second half.
The Ravens' 34-31 victory gives linebackers coach Monachino a Super Bowl win and an extra boost to his resume. But the Eagles were unlikely to choose between Donatell and Monachino depending on who won the big game. Yet if Philadelphia was leaning towards Donatell, the Super Bowl had to give it pause.
It may not have been the secondary’s fault, as Flacco’s throws were on target all night. However, the 49ers’ corners were overwhelmed by Anquan Bolden and Jacoby Jones on big plays, while a pass interference penalty on Chris Culliver helped lead to an insurance field goal by the Ravens in the fourth quarter.
If the secondary and the defense had made just one big stop in the first 30+ minutes, the 49ers could have completed their comeback much easier. Yet a San Francisco defense that had been the toughest in the NFL for most of the season let it down. In truth, the 49ers had been paper soft on defense since mid-December, but it finally cost them in the Super Bowl.
Whether it costs Donatell a shot at a defensive coordinator job, with the Eagles or anyone else, is yet to be determined. The fact that Monachino’s linebackers stopped the 49ers at the goal line in the final minute could be a big boost for him, to say nothing of his new Super Bowl ring.
But although these two coaches were linked to the Eagles’ search a week ago, none of them had been officially contacted by Philadelphia. However, that might change in the days ahead, now that Donantell and Monachino are actually eligible to get picked up.